Cookbook Review – Tacos: Recipes and Provocations

Tacos are a favourite around here and so we wanted to share our perspective on a book focused solely on the topic.

Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman is exactly the kind of book that gets us excited around Dinner Well Done.  The book teaches us the fundamentals of taco making (e.g., how to make solid tortillas at home, and recipes for classics such as Tacos al Pastor) but then stretches our thinking and gets the creative juices flowing.  I suppose that is what the authors meant by “provocations”.

Some of our favourite provocations are:

  1.  Flavoured tortilla shells that play a staring role in the dish (e.g., the chicken tortillas on page 55)
  2. Non traditional tacos such as the famous cheeseburger taco (page 121-122)

Most of all though we love this book for the teaching of some of the core tenants of Mexican cooking – salsas, tortillas and mole.  The chapter on salsas really expanded our understanding of what it means to be a salsa (i.e., it’s not just about a red tomato based sauce, or a single chile – it is about ingredients and techniques).  We have yet to make the Salsa Negra (pg 66) but the description alone of the process puts it high on our list (for when we get a free moment to experiment)!

All in all we found Tacos: Recipes and provocations to be an inspiring read and one that left us energized and excited to get into the kitchen and try out some new recipes, techniques and ingredients (we even went so far as to source avocado leaves… which was no small feet!)


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